Field Trippin’: Arthur W. Perdue Stadium

As I was going through my camera today, I noticed that I had pictures from a visit me and my family had made during our vacation to Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.

Located in Salisbury, Md., it is the home of the Class-A affiliates of the Baltimore Orioles, the Delmarva Shorebirds. They play in the South Atlantic League, or Sally League for short. It is the launching pad of many Major League careers as is the first stop for many draft picks in their journey to the MLB.

There is nothing quite like going to a minor league baseball game, as it is the game in its purest form. No flashy bells-and-whistles, big corporate influence, and there is just something about seeing big leaguers before they make it to The Show.

Unfortunately, the 2012 season is a bit of a down one for the Delmarva Shorebirds as they just don’t have the highly touted prospects as they have in past years. It has shown attendance wise, as the 5,200 seat stadium had roughly 1,000 patrons despite a beautiful night for baseball.

One thing I also noticed about attending a game here is quite different than other minor league games I’ve attended, as there isn’t really much in the side-show department as compared to other teams. No zany promotions or events between innings, which made the already stale atmosphere seem more so. Part of the fun of going to a minor league game is seeing a ridiculous ice cream eating contest or Dizzy Bat race. The only real quirky gem of the park was a merry-go-round located down the left field line that was a hit with kids in attendance.

While some of the minor league fun was missing from the ballpark, I have to say that Perdue Stadium was a very nice stadium. $5 General Admission tickets for most of the ballpark was a steal, and the ballpark itself was clean and rather large. The staff was also a joy, as you could really tell they enjoyed working there and talking baseball with the fans. Nothing ruins the experience more for me than a cranky staff around a stadium, so kudos to the Shorebirds on that.

As with any minor league stadium, there were great ads that covered the fences.

The ballpark wasn’t located in the Salisbury, but about 10 minutes outside of the city on Route 50. It made for a pretty drab surrounding neighborhood as only trees and a four-lane highway were around the ballpark.

There was also plenty of history lessons throughout the ballpark, including a free Marlyland Baseball Museum, and these banners that were around the main concourse that honored former Shorebirds that made it to the major leagues.

As with any place, there was a Pittsburgh Pirates connection.

Their mascot, Sherman, was constantly roving the ballpark and interacting with fans.

The Shorebirds dropped another game to the rival Hagerstown Suns and saw their record drop to 20 games below .500. I certainly hope they can turn it around for the organization’s sake, as they do many things the right way.

All in all, I’d have to rank Perdue Stadium around the middle of the pack as far as minor league stadiums go. You get a good experience for the price, and if you are in need of a baseball fix while staying at a resort along the Maryland or Deleware coast, it is a great option. However, if you are looking for a true minor league baseball atmosphere, you may want to look elsewhere.